For most fans, you hear the name Ryan Clark and you ask, “Ryan who?”. You vaguely know the name but when you hear that he is a safety your next question is why Miami didn’t go after Antrelle Rolle a little harder. Then it’s all about Darren Sharper and restricted free agent O.J. Atogwe. But Ryan Clark?
And that is where you would be wrong, wrong in wondering why the Dolphins are compelled to make him their 2010 starter. See if all goes as planned, the Dolphins will announce the signing sometime this afternoon and all indications are that it is a foregone conclusion. See, Miami wants Clark and Clark wants Miami.
A hard hitting safety from the Pittsburgh Steelers, Clark is one of the better safeties in the league who is humble enough to stay under the radar. When faced with free agency, Clark simply sat home and skipped all the grand tours from city to city and instead waited patiently for the Dolphins to do business with Karlos Dansby.
“That’s the reason we waited so long to take any [free agent] trips. We had interested teams that I didn’t really want to go to, and I didn’t want to try to make myself look busy by going to a bunch of different places. There were a lot of good offers, and a lot of good fits. But this seems like a good spot. So I’m praying it goes well.”
And wait he did. Clark said that he wanted only to make one free agent stop and that was to the Dolphins. He scheduled an appointment for Sunday into Monday and scheduled nothing else. Even when the rumors flew around that his name was being linked to other teams.
Clark has been a starter the last 2 seasons which included a Pittsburgh Super Bowl victory against the Arizona Cardinals. Clark, while a heavy hitting safety on the field, is also well known because of his lack of playing last year in one game. The Steeler trip to Denver.
Clark suffers from a blood disorder that two years ago almost killed him because of the high-altitude in Denver. Thus, he skipped last years Steelers away game to the Mile High City.
Clark may or may not be the best answer to the Dolphins recent woes at safety but he brings something that recently departed Gibril Wilson did not, an intense desire to hit someone, someone with the ball. That physical attitude and veteran smarts is something that the Phins have been looking for.
Clark is not under the Dolphins contract yet but he likely soon will be and the Dolphins would take yet another big step in overhauling a defense that just couldn’t get it done last year when they needed it.
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